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Period: November 15, 2014 to December 1, 2014
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends

Omega-3 Fatty Acids In Fish Oil Help Prevent Gastrointestinal Cancers

Researchers in Missouri have found compelling evidence in a review of scientific studies that eating the right kinds of fatty fish can prevent development of the type of tumors found in breast, prostate, pancreas, colon and other gastrointestinal cancers. Omega-3s in fatty fish seem to work the same way as low-dose aspirin: by inhibiting the activity of the cox-2 enzyme, a major contributor to adenocarcinomas. The researchers noted that olive oil used in Italy in cooking and as a salad dressing is low in omega-6; omega-3-rich fish is a staple in the Italian diet. A high ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s is the key. Subjects in Italian studies who consumed fish at least twice weekly were at a significantly lower risk for a number of gastrointestinal cancers.

"A Higher Dietary Ratio of Long-Chain Omega-3 to Total Omega-6 Fatty Acids for Prevention of COX-2-Dependent Adenocarcinomas. ", Nutrition and Cancer, November 21, 2014

Sugary Drinks Do Not Affect Teenage Metabolism, As Long As Kids Stay Active

Weight-stable, physically active adolescents who consume moderate amounts of sugary drinks every day need not worry about adverse metabolic impact, a new U.S. study has found. Researchers measured insulin sensitivity and cholesterol levels of participants (boys and girls 15 to 20 years old) after they had consumed a couple of cans of either high-glucose or high-fructose beverages daily for two weeks. The researchers found that as long as the kids stayed active, there was little adverse impact from drinking the sugary beverages.

"Moderate amounts of fructose- or glucose-sweetened beverages do not differentially alter metabolic health in male and female adolescents. ", American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, November 18, 2014

Some Breads Are Better For Weight Loss Than Others

Weight loss can only happen on a balanced diet that features plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as complex carbohydrates like bread. Some breads are better for weight loss, however, than others. The eight breads that help dieters shed pounds are: oat bread, whole wheat, brown rice bread, whole wheat pita, flaxseed, rye bread, Ezekiel bread, and gluten-free. A physician commenter on the article, however, said only Ezekiel bread (barley, wheat, lentils, beans, spelt and millet) and genuine sourdough should be eaten by dieters. The other varieties of whole grain breads raise blood sugar levels significantly, prompt insulin release contributing to pre-diabetes, and should be avoided when trying to lose weight.

"8 Types Of Bread For Weight Loss", BoldSky.com, November 17, 2014

People Who Cook At Home Eat Healthier Food, Consume Fewer Calories

U.S. researchers who analyzed data from a recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that people who cook at home a lot tend to eat healthier and consume fewer calories than those who cook less. The data came from questionnaires answered by more than 9,000 participants aged 20 and older about what they ate during a 24-hour period. The eight percent who cooked dinner once or less a week consumed 2,301 total calories, 84 grams of fat and 135 grams of sugar. The forty-eight percent who cooked dinner six to seven times a week consumed 2,164 calories, 81 grams of fat and 119 grams of sugar on an average day.

"Is cooking at home associated with better diet quality or weight-loss intention? ", Public Health Nutrition, November 17, 2014

Beet Juice Improves Quality Of Life Of Heart Failure Patients

A new U.S. study on the health impact of beet juice finds that the nitrate it contains not only increases blood flow to skeletal muscles, improving athletic performance, it also boosts blood flow in heart failure patients. Nitrate is reduced in the mouth by bacteria into nitrite, and then reduced to nitric oxide when swallowed, which dilates the blood vessels, and allows blood to go where it needs to go. That increased blood flow makes it easier for wheelchair-bound heart patients to get up and move around, which speeds recovery and raises the quality of life.

"Microvascular oxygen pressures in muscles comprised of different fiber types: Impact of dietary nitrate supplementation. ", Nitric Oxide, November 15, 2014

Weight Gain When Exercising Aerobically Can Be Prevented

A U.S. study of 81 overweight, sedentary women who participated in an exercise program ostensibly to improve their fitness found that many of the women actually gained weight over 12 weeks. The researchers wondered why. Almost 70 percent had added some fat mass, and several had gained as much as 10 pounds, mostly fat. But those who had lost weight after four weeks tended to continue to lose weight. The researchers concluded that the best way to lose weight when exercising is to check the scale after a month: if you’ve lost weight, then stick to the diet and physical activity level that has worked so far.

"Exercising but Gaining Weight", The New York Times, November 12, 2014

Comment & Opinion  

Celiac Sufferers Can Try These Alternative Flours For Holiday Baking

Food writer Sarah-Jane Bedwell offers some suggestions for holiday baking to people with celiac disease (severe allergic reaction to the protein gluten) or a wheat allergy. Her focus is on six alternative flours: almond, rice, amaranth, potato, buckwheat and chickpea. Each has its virtues as a replacement for wheat flour. For example, buckwheat makes a whole grain flour that has a rich, nutty flavor, is high in fiber, calcium and protein and is “great in bread or muffin recipes”. Vitamin B-rich potato flour attracts and holds water, so it works great for making moist breads, pancakes, and waffles.

"6 Alternative Flours for Gluten Free Baking", TheHuffingtonPost.com, November 24, 2014

Dietary Changes Would Benefit The Health Of Humans And The Planet

Shifting to a largely plant-based diet would not only make us healthier, it would also be good for the planet, according to U.S. researchers. Their study fused data on the environmental costs of food production – growing fruits, vegetables, grains, etc. vs. raising cattle– as well as diet trends, relationships between diet and health, and population growth. The core problem is that people consume too much refined sugar, refined fats and oils, and land-intense agricultural products like beef. All of this shortens lifespans, while increasing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing land available for endangered species. The solution is to switch to largely Mediterranean, pescatarian (fish) or vegetarian diets.

"Global diets link environmental sustainability and human health. ", Nature, November 12, 2014

Products & Brands  

The Health Benefits Of Cooking With Unground Wheat Berries

A Mayo Clinic dietitian describes the health benefits of cooking with wheat berries, the mostly unprocessed kernels of wheat that contain the germ, endosperm and bran, but not the hull. Ground wheat berries are used to make whole wheat flour, but even before grinding, the berries can be used to make soups, stews, salads, bread, stuffing and other foods. A half cup of cooked wheat berries has 150 calories, four grams of fiber, plus magnesium, selenium, manganese, phosphorus and lignans, thought to protect against breast and prostate cancer. Several wheat berry recipes are offered along with tips for preparation and storage.

"Wheat berries boost whole grain intake", La Crosse Tribune, November 23, 2014

Many Fruit Juices For Kids Sold In The U.K. Are More Sugary Than Coca-Cola

More than 25 percent of fruit juices targeted at children and sold in British supermarkets contain as much or more sugar than Coca-Cola. According to a report by Action on Sugar, store brands from Waitrose, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and ASDA were “among the worst culprits”. For example, ASDA’s Chosen by Kids tropical juice drink contains seven teaspoons of sugar per 200 ml -- more than a teaspoon more than regular Coke. A quarter of the juice drinks contain added sugar or glucose-fructose syrup. Health experts from Action on Sugar urge parents to skip fruit juices altogether, except perhaps at mealtimes.

"Fruit drinks aimed at children contain more sugar than Coca-Cola", The Telegraph, November 10, 2014

Burger King opens beef-free restaurant in India

Australian Food News, November 12, 2014

Research, Studies, Advice  

Applying Genetic Information Helps Improve Eating Habits

Canadian researchers have found that tailoring one’s diet using genetic information improves eating habits better than following standardized diet advice. The researchers collected data on the intake of caffeine, sodium, vitamin C and sugar from 138 healthy young adults who were then divided into two groups. One group was given DNA-based dietary advice while the other group was given current standard dietary advice. Dietary habits were checked after three and 12 months. Those who received DNA-based dietary advice showed dietary improvement after three months and even more so after a year. The genetic dietary advice was provided by a University of Toronto start-up company that develops genetic test kits for personalized nutrition.

"Disclosure of Genetic Information and Change in Dietary Intake: A Randomized Controlled Trial. ", PLoS ONE, November 21, 2014

Popular Diet Plans Work In The Short Term, But Are Ineffective Over The Long Haul

A Canadian review of clinical trials involving four commercial diet plans -- Atkins, South Beach, Weight Watchers, and Zone -- that promise not only weight loss but improved cardiovascular health found that all helped dieters lose weight in the short term. However, the trials provided little evidence that the diets worked in the long run, or that they improved heart health. Weight Watchers dieters lost an average 7.7 to 13.2 pounds after a year compared to 1.8 to 11.9 pounds with usual care. But at two years, dieters had regained a lot of the pounds. In a head to head comparison of diets, those on Atkins lost the most, an average 4.6 to 10.3 pounds. The control group lost about 4.85 pounds.

"Long-Term Effects of 4 Popular Diets on Weight Loss and Cardiovascular Risk Factors: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials. ", Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, November 21, 2014

Vegan Diet Is Best For Shedding Pounds

U.S. researchers who compared the weight loss results of different types of diets found that a strict vegan diet worked best at cutting pounds. The study involved 50 overweight individuals over six months who were randomly assigned to vegan, semi-vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian, vegetarian or omnivorous diets. At the end of six months, individuals on the vegan diet lost more weight than those on a mostly plant-based diet, and those on an omnivorous diet (a mix of animal products and plant based foods) by an average of 4.3 percent, or 16.5 pounds. The researchers also found that vegan diets improved macronutrients more than other diets.

"Comparative effectiveness of plant-based diets for weight loss: A randomized controlled trial of five different diets. ", Nutrition, November 15, 2014

Vitamin B With Folic Acid Does Not Prevent Or Improve Memory Loss

Dutch researchers have determined that, despite earlier observational studies, taking folic acid and vitamin B12 over long periods of time does not reduce the risk of memory loss. The study was conducted in 2,919 older patients with high levels of the amino acid homocysteine – thought to be associated with memory loss. Folic acid and vitamin B12 do lower homocysteine levels, but after two years of supplementation the researchers found no difference between the patients who took supplements and those who took a placebo in the scores on thinking and memory tests.

"Results of 2-year vitamin B treatment on cognitive performance: Secondary data from an RCT. ", Neurology, November 12, 2014

An Obsession With Healthy Eating Can Be Very Unhealthy

Add another eating disorder to the list: orthorexia nervosa, a condition in which people obsessed with eating healthful, “clean” food end up hurting themselves. More and more doctors and dietitians are treating people determined to cleanse their diet of meat products, gluten, dairy, sugar, etc., become obsessive compulsive, lose way too much weight and even become malnourished. Very little research has been done on the phenomenon, but researchers in Colorado recently devised a list of criteria for doctors to use to diagnose orthorexia. The criteria could also be used to expand research on the condition, which is not yet listed in the official manual of mental disorders.

"When Healthy Eating Calls For Treatment", The Wall Street Journal, November 10, 2014

Home-Packed School Lunches Tend To Be A Lot Less Healthful -- Study

Researchers in Virginia who analyzed the nutritional value of more than 750 school meals with more than 560 packed meals given to pre-K and kindergarten students in three schools over five days found that school lunches were generally more healthful for kids. School lunches were lower in fat and higher in protein, though they did tend to contain more sodium. Packed lunches were less likely to have fruits, vegetables, sugar-free juice and milk, and had more snacks such as chips and crackers. "There were some really healthy packed lunches,” one researcher said. “But overall, they were pretty unhealthy." 

"School Lunches More Nutritious Than Home-Packed Lunches: Study", HealthDay , November 07, 2014

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